Sunday, February 2, 2014

Walgreens Experiment with Fresh Food Finding Success Up Market

Back in 2010 Walgreens acquired New York City based Duane Reade and at the time they stated one of the reason was the success Duane Reade had found in fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food. 
Skip Bourdo, a vice president at Walgreens. “Now we have to customize our stores. Our flagships are where we experiment.” Walgreens has 13 flagship stores around the country that all serve as in part as fresh food “laboratories to test products and services that might also do well in the suburbs.” “
So what has Walgreens learned from Duane Reade? First and foremost Dourdo stated that “Sushi is a big hit in this type of environment,”… “But certain fresh food has to fit the neighborhood. Sushi wouldn’t make sense in the suburbs.” The Wall Street Walgreens is now much like the Wall Street Duane Reade and each “has a fresh juice bar, a coffee bar, a small bakery, and self-serve frozen yogurt with toppings ($3.99 for a small cup; $4.99 for a large).” At some point Walgreens plans to add some  seating, however they are selling a lot of fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food without seating today.

What else are they testing at these urban laboratories? Some are selling have beer served in growlers, serve freshly chopped salads and others fresh sandwiches.

With 8,200 stores and $81 Billion in sales Walgreens is finding its footing in Fresh Prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food.  Convenience stores, Grocery stores and Restaurants should all be mindful of the fast evolving competitive landscape of retail foodservice.  Walgreens may have more financial muscle behind it than any other competitor ever. With 8,200 stores I know there is one near you.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Fresh Prepared Food niche aka the Grocerant niche.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  

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